This book is so good. It has the right amount of girl power, action, politcal intrigue and that Saturday cartoon vibe that makes it so much fun. I'm glad they show Amy freaking out when she realizes she killed a man and her mother knowing that she's not ready for all of this. It's nicely done without overdoing the scene. Princess Ingvie of the House of Citrine is very likible and looks like she might be Amys' best bud. Unlike the other siblings of the ruling houses she has no interest in gaining power as she perfers being an archer. While her mother wants her to get the family power she'd rather her brother get it. This is rather interesting as it hints that the power doesn't always go to every member in the family. It explains other Houses (like Diamond) being at each others' throat. But then again Lady Graciel (Amys' mother) says that Citrine is a "minor house" while she and her sister have both used power.
I hold out the hope that Graciel doesn't die because she remains an awesome mom and very strong woman. I loved her affectionate smile when Amy tells Ingvie to stick to her guns about being an archer since she's excels at it. The little touches like Graciel saying how small Ingvie was the last time she saw her or Ingvie being reminded of her own fights with her mother really give this book some nice depth. I'm guessing that the different gems have different abilities as the Citrine gem uses speech. It allows Amy to learn all languages and their able to leave her aunt a message.
Speaking of Lady Mordiel she gets some much needed character development as well. Last month there were complaints that she was too one dimensional. When fleeing Graciel says to leave the dead as she's sure that her sister will take care of them. You'd think Mordiel would ignore them as it's implied a lot has change since Graciel was there, but sure enough she orders her men to give proper burials. Come to think of it this was hinted at last issue when she said to give the family of the girl she murdered a rather large payment of blood money. She seems to have a rather twisted view of honor. When Mordiel sees her sister has left a message she looks rather distressed and sad when she sees her niece. Graciel asks to met on neutral ground to ask her to change her path. But judging by hint at next months' title I don't think that will happen.
Did You Notice?: The tracker Mordiel uses seems to have blonde hair. I thought all blondes were supposed to be related to her bloodline thus needed to be killed so she could take their power. Either this is a mistake or it's a certain hue of blonde hair. It's rather dull compared to the coloring for the royal house.
Say What?: Despite knowing who helped her sister and having sent an army to fight them Mordiel is advised not to attack a Minor House further.
Back Up Feature: Bewulf
I liked this story even if I don't care about Bewulf. The best part about it remains the narrator who's put into moral peril at the end. No one thanks him for his deeds and he's the only one that's truly heroic in this. Right now the only thing that bugs me about this book is the cost.
Did you Notice?: What was the narrator raising his foot out of in the tavern? I doubt it's supposed to be ale. Either blood (which is miscolored) or urine implying he was that scared.